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Parking Near Natural History Museum Washington Dc

Driving To The Rio Tinto Center

Fun in Washington DC with Kids – A Day at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

From the North:

  • Take I-15 South
  • Exit 307 for 400 South Exit Turn Left onto 400 South
  • Continue toward the University of Utah campus as 400 South turns into 500 South and then to Foothill Drive
  • Turn left at Wakara Way The Museum will be visible at the top of the road in front of you.
  • Continue up Wakara Way to the Museum.

From the South on I-15:

  • Take I-15 North
  • Exit 304 to merge onto I-80 East toward Cheyenne
  • Exit 129 for Foothill Drive toward Parleys Way
  • Continue straight onto Foothill Drive
  • Past Sunnyside Drive, turn right onto Wakara Way The Museum will be visible at the top of the road in front of you
  • Continue up Wakara Way to the Museum.

From the South on I-215:

  • Take I-215 North
  • Exit 1 for Parleys Way/Foothill Drive
  • Continue straight onto Foothill Drive
  • Past Sunnyside Drive, turn right onto Wakara Way The Museum will be visible at the top of the road in front of you
  • Continue up Wakara Way to the Museum

From the East:

  • Exit 129 for UT-186 West
  • Continue straight onto S Foothill Drive
  • Past Sunnyside Drive, turn right onto Wakara Way The Museum will be visible at the top of the road in front of you
  • Continue up Wakara Way to the Museum

From the West:

  • Take exit 121 for 600 South
  • Turn left onto S State Street
  • Turn right onto 400 So./ UT-186 E/ E University Boulevard
  • Continue to follow UT-186 E until Foothill Drive
  • Turn left onto Wakara Way The Museum will be visible at the top of the road in front of you
  • Continue up Wakara Way to the Museum

Parking At The Smithsonian Commercial Parking Lots Nearby

There are commercial parking garages on all the cross streets north of Pennsylvania Avenue. The nearest to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum is on 10th Street between Pennyslvania and E Streets. A popular garage that never runs out of space is the parking garage under the Ronald Reagan Building. Very centrally located. Weekday rates in 2021 are $25 for up to 15 hours and $17 all day on weekends.

Top 5 Washington DC Museums

Field Trips & Hybrid Learning

Our hybrid learning and field trip offerings allow teachers, parents and youth leaders to use forest preserves and nature centers as an outdoor classroom. Our hybrid learning programs serve kindergarten through 12th grade students and meet Next Generation Science Standards , while our field trips serve everyone from pre-K to adult learners.

Contact one of our nature centers or for more information or to discuss programs tailored to your learning objectives.

Trailside Museum of Natural History

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Parking Near The Museum

There is no public parking facility at the Smithsonian on the National Mall. On-street meter parking options are available but please be advised to carefully check the days and hours of enforcement posted on the parking meters and curbside signs.

We encourage visitors to take public transportation. If you do drive, there are commercial parking lots located throughout the area, download a parking map for the National Mall to help you plan your visit.

The Smithsonian is happy to partner with ParkWhiz to help our customers reserve a museum parking spot in advance. Click here or select your date and time from the map below to book your space today.

Please note: You will leave the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture website when you click the links above. ParkWhiz is a third-party vendor.

Parking Nearby National Museum Of Natural History

Handicap Parking at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum ...

We are taking a family trip to DC next month. My husband will be in a conference for part of the days and want to take my 9 and 4 year olds to the museum myself. I will be using a wheelchair also. I am hesitant to try to use the Metro with them alone and was hoping to find somewhere to park within 4-5 blocks of the museum. Would that be possible? We are staying out at Gaylord National Resort. I have a disabled parking permit also. We would be going on a Sunday morning. Thanks for any help!

There are a limited number of free, 3-hour limit, on-street parking spaces near National Mall museums along Jefferson and Madison Drives for visitors with disabilities, vehicles must display the appropriate plate or permit while parked in designated handicapped parking spaces. On Sunday morning, you should be able to find a space.

This map from the Smithsonian notes some of the closest garages:

I always see empty handicapped spaces on Jefferson& Madison. Best to go early however, or later in the afternoon. The most difficult parking times down there are around 11 – 2.

I never see handicap spots on Jefferson& Madison though I may be looking at peak times. I would either try to arrive around 9:30 or earlier since the museums open at 10 or look for a metered spot or park at the Reagan Building. A metered spot may be preferred since you can leave your car there all day as opposed to three hours on Jefferson & Madison.

Edited: 6 years ago

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Taking The Metro To The Smithsonian Natural History Museum

This is a much better option. There are several nearby stations. On the Blue/Orange/Silver lines, both Smithsonian Metro and Federal Triangle are equidistant from the Natural History Museum. If you come in on the Yellow/Green lines, the Archives/Navy Memorial stop is not far away either. If you come in on the Red line, perhaps you should change trains to get on one of the other lines that are somewhat closer to the museum.

Opening Hours at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum

Summer hours are usually 10:00 AM until 7:30 PM. Occasionally, there are special events and the museum will close at 5:30 PM. During the rest of the year, the hours are from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM. At busy times of the year and on some weekends, the museum will stay open extended hours until 7:30 PM.

Alternative Transportation To Nhmu At The Rio Tinto Center

University of Utah Hospital On-Demand Shuttle

The Hospital On-Demand Shuttle automatically meets the Red Line Trax at the Medical Trax Station from 6 a.m.9 p.m. and will provide service upon request to the Natural History Museum of Utah.

To request a pick-up, call 801.581.4189 or do so online by visiting After your request is made, a shuttle will pick you up within 15 minutes.


Four UTA Bus routes stop at the intersection of Chipeta and Wakara Way, which is two blocks west of the Museum. Those routes are:

  • 228 – travels from downtown Salt Lake to Research Park to the 45th South TRAX Stop
  • 313 – an Express route to/from the south Salt Lake Valley
  • 455 – travels from the University of Utah to Ogden
  • 473 – an Express route to/from Ogden

Note: It is an uphill walk from Chipeta and Wakara Way. Be prepared for an uphill walk or wait for the University of Utah Black Shuttle for service to the Museum’s Main Entrance. At this time, there is no UTA bus service to the Museum on Saturday and Sunday. For holiday service, please visit


There are multiple bike racks along the front of the Museum for the convenience of visitors. It is recommended that you properly lock your bike while visiting the Museum. The Museum is not responsible for any lost or stolen property.

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How Can I Find Off

The best option for Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History parking is one that offers both affordability and convenience. Thats exactly what you get when pre-booking a spot using! Our smooth interface shows you the closest parking garages in just a few swipes, while our prices are updated in real-time to give you the best rates.

All the garages in our inventory are well-maintained, paved, and quality-checked. They are CCTV-enabled to keep your vehicle safe, and offer value for money with rates as low as $17 per day! So dont delay Smithsonian National Museum of National History parking has never been easier.

Handicap Parking At The Smithsonian Natural History Museum

Top 5 Free Museums in Washington DC

Handicap parking at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum is available on Madison Drive across the street from the main staircase leading up to the museum. I am happy to report that two wheelchair accessible ramps are now open to access the museum from the Madison Avenue side of the museum. Wheelchair access is from either side of the staircase. Accessing from the handicap ramp will give you priority access to pass through the security line into the museum.

There is another wheelchair accessible ramp to enter from the Constitution Avenue entrance to the Natural History Museum. However, there is no available parking on the Constitution Avenue side of the building.

Anyone with a disability or handicap visiting the National Mall in Washington DC will find that getting around is a big problem. Not only handicapped people, but elderly visitors and anyone with limited mobility encounters a huge accessibility problem to get between the Smithsonians, the monuments, the US Capitol, the White House, and other downtown locations. The perfect solution would be a private tour especially designed for handicapped and disabled people.

On-street parking on the National Mall is no longer free of charge. Three hour parking is available at $2 per hour. Parking meters only accept credit cards.

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Parking At The Smithsonian Natural History Museum

Parking at the Smithsonian is never easy, but is also not impossible. Your best chance to score a parking spot at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum is to arrive by 10:00 AM. Parking on Madison Drive is metered at $2 per hour for a maximum of 3 hours. There is no parking on Constitution Avenue.

Be careful to read the signs. There are a multitude of special parking spots on Madison Drive. Most importantly, do not park in handicapped parking. If you do not have tags, you can count on a $250 ticket when you come out of the museum. Parking in a taxi stand, a loading zone or other special zones will usually set you back $32 for a ticket.

Natural History Museum Must

African Elephant

In the rotunda as you enter from the National Mall, you’ll see a 12-ton, 14 foot tall African elephant. Learn about it as you can walk around it to see if from all angles.

Hope Diamond & Dom Pedro Aquamarine

The highlights of the gem collection, these two stones are both beautiful and rare. The Hope Diamond is a 45 carat, deep blue diamond. The Dom Pedro Aquamarine is a new addition. It is the worlds largest faceted aquamarine gem at 10,363 carats.

Butterfly Pavilion

This ticketed part of the museum features live butterflies and exotic plants. Admission is free on Tuesdays but tickets are on a first come, first served basis. The tropical environs allow you to see different varieties from all over the world.


Not just a chance to see some of the artifacts that you’d find in an Ancient Egyptian tomb , this exhibit focuses on the science behind it. With hi-res images and scans, you can look inside the mummies.

Teddy Roosevelt’s White Rhino

The Northern White Rhino is extinct in the wild and only survives in captivity. This specimen has been on display since 1913. It was part of President Theodore Roosevelt’s trip to Africa as part of a Smithsonian expedition in 1909-10. It is the only Roosevelt specimen still on display. You can find it in the Kenneth Behring Family Hall of Mammals.

Check out our DC Tourism Guide, with budget advice, travel guides, and information about local Washington DC attractions

Canden Arciniega

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American Museum Of Natural History Parking Guide

Last Updated on August 19, 2021 by Nabila

The American Museum of Natural History is a 150-year-lasting museum located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, NYC. Its placed across the street from world-renowned Central Park and is famous for its diverse scientific collections and exhibitions. The museum has tens of millions of specimens that include rocks, plants, fossils, minerals, human remains, etc. Spare a few hours to check out what AMNH has to offer, and Parking Access will help you find a suitable American Museum of Natural History parking area.

According to AMNH, this museum is an ideal place for anyone who wants to find out more about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe. So, if youre one of those people, plan your trip to the museum by going through our guide and discovering the ticket prices and all AMNH parking options!

NY, NJ, and CT residents The amount you pay is up to you.

If you want to check out one special exhibition as well , such admission for adults costs $28. To gain access to all special exhibitions, adult AMNH guests have to pay $33, while seniors and students pay $27.

Note that any student, senior, and NY/NJ/CT resident must bring a valid ID.

Food In And Around The Museum:

15 Cant
  • The new Ocean Terrace Café was renovated in Summer 2019 and is a beautiful space. However, you cannot bring your own lunch and the prices are quite expensive. The café offers a selection of food including a grain bowl buffet and a café with coffee and sweets.
  • The Atrium Café on the ground level is pretty basic with overpriced and not very good food by many reviews. Sample costs: Burger for $15.30 and French Fries $4.75.
  • If the weather is nice, bring a picnic stored in a cooler in your car, and have lunch on National Mall in front of the museum.
  • Food Trucks are usually parked in front of the museum on Constitution Ave. or in front of the Sculpture Garden next door. They sell items like hot dogs, sandwiches, and ice cream bars.
  • Check out my full list of over 20 family-friendly food options near each of the museums here.

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    Find Parking In Washington Dc

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    Find Parking in DC Neighborhoods

    Disabled And Handicap Tours Of Washington Dc

    Nonpartisan Pedicab offers specialized tours for disabled and handicapped visitors to Washington DC. A private tour of the monuments with an experienced guide is the perfect way to get around if you are disabled. It is easy to get in and out of a pedicab and very comfortable. We are very knowledgeable about all the sites in DC. We can pick you up right from your hotel or parking location or from the Smithsonian. You can see all the monuments on the National Mall in 2-3 hours. At the end of the tour, we can drop you off at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum or any other location of your choice.

    In addition to the Jefferson Memorial, here are some things to do while visiting DC.

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    Is There Free Parking Near The Smithsonian Museum Of Natural History

    Yes, you can find free parking spots on Constitution Avenue. However, these spots are rarely vacant you might need to be very lucky to nab free parking near the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Whats more, you need to keep track of parking regulations, which can be a headache. Towaway times are between 7-9 a.m. and 4-6.30 p.m.

    American Museum Of Natural History Parking Options

    Smithsonian Natural History Museum unveils new dinosaur exhibit

    AMNH offers a convenient parking facility located within the museum, and you can see the American Museum of Natural History parking map below. The map shows a part of the lower level of the museum. To reach the AMNH parking garage, use the entrance at 81st Street, which is between Central Park and Columbus Avenue. The garage parking structure is open between 6 AM and 11 PM on weekdays, while it opens at 8 AM on weekends.

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    National Museum Of Natural History Family Guide: 9 Tips To Know Before You Go

    We know exploring the city and museums can be overwhelming, so we have created a Know Before You GoFamily Guide tothe National Museum of Natural History. Our family is a big fan of the free world-renowned Smithsonian museums but it can still feel like a lot to visit with kids!

    On the one hand, its great to take advantage of the cool educational opportunities offered at these museums, but on the other hand tantrums and traffic! Also, despite asking at every museum info desk, I was surprised that most do not have family or kids guides.

    But dont fear! Ive got all you need to know before you go to each of the top Smithsonian museums in DC. Ive condensed my 7-page Family Museum Guides to the essentials including:

  • Why Go
  • Food In and Around Museum
  • Easiest Exhibit for Babies and Toddlers
  • Best Exhibit for Elementary Age
  • My Favorite Exhibit for Teens
  • Gift Shop Alternative
  • The full guides go into more detail for each of the age groups and if you are interested you can check them out at Make sure to bookmark this post to reference for your future visits!

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